A February 21, 2012 press release from the Department of Foreign Affairs
Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert F. Del Rosario received Vietnamese Deputy Foreign Minister Ho Xuan Son at the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) on February 20 at the start of the inaugural meeting of the Joint Commission on Maritime and Ocean Cooperation (JCMOC).
Deputy Minister Ho arrived last February 19 as the head of the 16-member Vietnamese delegation to the 1st JCMOC held on February 20 at the DFA.
Foreign Affairs Undersecretary for Policy Erlinda F. Basilio headed the ten-member Philippine delegation.
The holding of the JCMOC at the Deputy Foreign Minister level was agreed during the 6th meeting of the Philippines-Vietnam from October 6 to 7, 2011.
The JCMOC will assume the work of the Joint Permanent Working Group on Maritime and Ocean Concerns (JPWG-MOC), continue discussions on the outstanding issues and identify new agenda items.
The transition of the JPWG-MOC to the JCMOC at the Vice Foreign Minister level was pursuant to the Philippines-Vietnam Action Plan 2011-2016, which aims to achieve a more responsive and effective mechanism for bilateral cooperation on the maritime and ocean concerns.
The 1st Philippine-Vietnam JCMOC discussed cooperative actions in the West Philippine Sea including the Philippine proposal for a Zone of Peace, Freedom, Friendship and Cooperation in the West Philippine Sea (WPS) and the establishment of a Code of Conduct in the WPS.